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I am looking deeper into Novartis to find deeper rooted ‘identity’ links to its campus. Image above shows Novartis campus in the bottom right. The campus proposes to go against ‘heterotopia to the urbanity of Novartis Ville’. Taking a critical look at that in relation to university, technology and corporate campuses across the world. Other new Novartis campuses seem to be based on the concepts developed in Basel. A lot of the terminology for those is borrowed from Vitra. The then CEO of Novartis was a fan of Rolf Fehlbaum (CEO of Vitra) and got the idea for making the collection of architectural ‘marvels’ in the Basel campus from him ‘to add symbolic capital to the company’s profile’. Perhaps the argument for identity can be found in the modern ideology behind collecting art. A quote from Novartis campus brochure: “Healthcare is a dynamically changing industry driven by knowledge and innovation; in this challenging environment, we must adapt the way we work and encourage collaboration to fulfil our mission of caring and curing.

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I started deconstructing their corporate strategy and basic quotes such as the one above to understand their attitude towards innovation. One of the latest corporate moves is a divestment of a number of the branches of their business. This a strategic tactic becoming more prominent today given current market conditions. It means that companies analyse all the branches of their business and sell off (‘divest’) the most ‘hopeless’ parts of their companies. In Novartis’ case this involves the ‘animal welfare’ branch. The money received from the sale can then be invested into the most profitable parts of the company. In Novartis’ case this means consumer pharmaceuticals. I am seeing whether my theory holds up that this implies that developments in healthcare mean a wider variety of drugs are needed… implying the development of a more diverse (and hopefully ‘healthier’) approach to human healthcare…

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One Response to Novartis

  1. Oliver Pershav says:

    The question on what is a “hopeless” part of the company, and what is a “profitable” part, is interesting. It touches on what is useful and what is not, what kind of space is perfect for a certain use and what is not for another. What is the top image? It seems like some sort of discussion on typology is arising (product? child-factory?) as the spatial consequences of a process, which has turned symbolical.